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Here's everything you need to know about tomorrow's World Cup play-off draw

Ireland find out which one of the four seeded teams they will face for a place at next year’s finals in Russia.

Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane will be in Zurich to discover Ireland's opponents.
Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane will be in Zurich to discover Ireland's opponents.
Image: Adam Davy

What exactly are we talking about? 

THANKS TO THE spirited 1-0 win over Wales in Cardiff a week ago, Ireland are one of the eight European nations who finished as best runners-up — meaning they go into a two-legged play-off with a spot at the 2018 World Cup finals up for grabs.

The four pairings will be revealed when Fifa make the play-off draw in Zurich on Tuesday.

When does it take place? 

Hosted by Mexican TV presenter Vanessa Huppenkothen with assistance from former Spain and Real Madrid defender Fernando Hierro, the draw gets underway at 1pm Irish time tomorrow.

Ireland manager Martin O’Neill and assistant Roy Keane will travel to Switzerland to be in attendance.

Brazil 2014 - World Cup Draw Fernando Hierro (left) will take part in the draw. Source: DPA/PA Images

Where can I watch it? 

Fifa will be streaming it live on their website Fifa.com, their Facebook page and YouTube channel. You will also be able to catch it on the RTÉ Player.

Who will Ireland face? 

The Boys in Green, who moved up to 26th in the latest Fifa rankings released earlier today, are among the unseeded teams. As a result, they will be drawn with one of the four seeded sides.

Pot 1 (seeded): Switzerland (11th), Italy (15th), Croatia (18th), Denmark (19th)
Pot 2 (unseeded): Northern Ireland (23rd), Sweden (25th), Republic of Ireland (26th), Greece (47th)

Read more about Ireland’s potential opponents here 

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How will the draw work? 

A team will be drawn from Pot 1, and a second from Pot 2. The two balls will then be put into Pot 3, where they will be mixed around before being picked out. The first team out will play at home in the first leg and the second will be away. That is repeated until all four pairings are decided.

When are the matches to be played?

The first legs will take place between 9-11 November, and the return legs are scheduled for the 12-14 November.

What is Ireland’s record in play-offs like? 

Ireland are set to appear in a record ninth play-off for a major tournament (World Cup or European Championships). Of their eight to-date, they have progressed in three and lost out on four occasions.

  • Euro 2016: Won 3-1 on aggregate v Bosnia and Herzegovina (1-1 away, 2-0 home)
  • Euro 2012: Won 5-1 on aggregate v Estonia (4-0 away, 1-1 home)
  • 2010 World Cup: Lost 1-2 on aggregate v France (0-1 home, 1-1 away (aet))
  • 2002 World Cup: Won 2-1 on aggregate v Iran (2-0 home, 0-1 away)
  • Euro 2000: Lost 1-1 on aggregate (on away goals) v Turkey (1-1 home, 0-0 away)
  • 1998 World Cup: Lost 2-3 on aggregate v Belgium (1-1 home, 1-2 away)
  • Euro ’96: Lost 0-2 in one-off game v Netherlands in Liverpool
  • 1966 World Cup: Lost to Spain after three matches (1-0 home, 4-1 away, 1-0 in Paris)

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Ben Blake

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